“Hey... Young man?”
A man in his fifties, thinning on the top, in a tuxedo was studying him with interest. “ I'm preparing a movie...” He tilted his head. “It's about POW planning to escape from a German camp, during World War II and there is a character...” He bit his lips and nodded, “a young English officer, blond, rather short in stature... You're... you're exactly him...”
But a wave of people was dragging him forward and he just held out a card to the young blond.
The reporter joined the photographer. His clenched jaws betrayed his annoyance. “Nothing. It was a wrong track!” He pointed his chin at the group on the red carpet; “Who was he?”
Illya Kuryakin peeped at the card. “A movie director... John Sturges...”
Napoleon Solo raised an interested eyebrow, “ Sturges? Oh, yes! You saw The Magnificent Seven, last year?”
“The remake of Kurosawa's Seven Samurai?, yes... not bad.”
Napoleon Solo knew this face. “And? What did he want?”
Illya Kuryakin smiled innocently. “Oh... he just wanted me to play a part in his next movie...”
They huddled in the doorway to get out of the blast, his partner taking him in a tight embrace. He couldn't say how it happened. His lips brushed a warm neck, feeling blood pulsation, a scruffy cheek... and suddenly... lips. Ravenous lips. In the midst of apocalypse, they kissed passionately.
Then... they raced towards the reinforcement, came back to the HQ and... his partner acted as if nothing had happened.
The pencil he had been chewing, tormenting for hours broke.
“Everyone make mistakes. That's why there is an eraser on every pencil.”
But some mistakes couldn't be fixed.
He shook his head. He couldn't run away, leaving the man he loved with this bomb.
“It's no use. I'll take it out of the gallery...” Illya cracked a smile, “See you later.”
Napoleon persisted in shaking his head but the Russian crept in the narrow passage, the threatening box in his hands.
As Napoleon was about to go out, dust devils sprang from the walls and everything vibrated. He closed his eyes, breathless, the unbearable reality dawning on him.
Warm hand on his cheek.
“I found an embrasure...”
Blues eyes, dusty face, boyish contentment...
“Saved the world...”
She chuckled. “Spiders? Probably! Fish soup, so?” And she left the room. Illya waved a pompous finger. “Ts ts... Spiders aren't insects! They're arthropods... Arachnids have...” He paused, waiting for the usual reaction but the other man was lost in thought. “Eight legs... Napoleon?”
He rested his hand on his friend's wrist, “We should have gone back home... I'm sorry. You're tired and...”
Napoleon shook his head, suddenly aware of his partner's worry. Stupid. He was stupid. He smiled, “I'm fine.” - Eyes rolled. “It's just... I had a strange nightmare and... Illya?”
The Russian frowned. “No... I thought... Oh, no....”